Monday, November 28, 2011
Our special after-holiday treat was seeing this spectacular sunset.
These were taken from inside the car using the “vivid” setting on my Canon PowerShot SX130IS camera.
I was experimenting with the settings; no other changes were done. It amazes me that I can have such fun using a point & shoot type digital camera, after previously owning a couple of digital SLRs.
Today was cyber-Monday but we did not do any online shopping. Instead, we worked on going through “stuff” and sorting “stuff” to be tossed out or donated to local thrift stores.
Did YOU shop online today – for yourself or others?
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Couple of Cuties
Recent photos of grandson Bobby and granddaughter Elizabeth sent by their mom.
December is a month of 5s – Bobby celebrates his 5th birthday in early Dec and Elizabeth will be 5 months old later that month.
We hope everyone had a great celebration – however and wherever it was spent.
Thanks for your good wishes and friendship.
Friday, November 25, 2011
Nature provides some interesting imagery; sometimes all that’s needed is imagination.
Can you see the bird in this branch?
These tangled branches resembled a heart to my eyes.This image is for Steve who blogs at Out on the Prairie.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone
Grenville and I are thankful for your friendships and wish you a wonderful holiday celebration.
We’re heading out on another road trip on Wed to Plainfield, NJ to celebrate at my mom’s. BUT, this is our last road trip for 2011. We’re spending Christmas & New Year’s Eve at home (alone) – our gift to us!
These photos were taken earlier this month in the Frog & PenguINN gardens.
Bees were still collecting pollen in the wildflowers.
“Thanksgiving is an emotional holiday. People travel thousands of miles to be with people they only see once a year. And then discover once a year is way too often.”
Monday, November 21, 2011
Nope, not in the sense of sitting on the porch, but finishing it. The front porch needed maintenance every few years in the form of sanding and repainting since it’s not an enclosed porch.
So instead of continually maintaining it, we replaced it with “ wood- alternative” decking made by the Trex Company. The half shown above was done first since it’s the side where we “porch it” in those rockers.
The other half of the porch was on Grenville’s “to do” list last week and the completion is shown here. There’s a color difference between the older and new decking, as the older one has weathered. In time, the new decking will do the same.
Yes, the replacement cost was higher than sanding and repainting the wood. But, the real savings comes in NOT having to redo the porch every few years; composite decking won't rot, splinter, warp or deteriorate – that works for us!
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Along with the garden’s end this week, there was also the end of the wildflower
Grenville sowed LOTS of seeds this past spring.
At first, he wondered whether much would grow.
Week by week, the plant size increased.
The flowers grew higher and more colorful.
By the end of October, they were still blooming.
We even had backyard visitors up to a week ago.
Some of the annual flowers in pots were in bloom again.
But last week, after a couple evenings of near freezing temps, some wildflowers were drooping.
Most of the taller flower stalks were starting to topple over.
This week, Grenville cut down and mulched the entire meadow. It now looks like the way it started in the spring.
Next spring, we will be waiting to see HOW large and high the meadow becomes with all the re-distributed seeds.
Crepe Myrtle Colors
The crepe myrtle trees alongside our home, the Frog & PenguINN, have shed nearly all their leaves providing lots of autumn colors.
Fallen leaves include most colors associated with this season.
Some leaves display their summer colors as long as possible.
“The falling leaves drift by the window
The autumn leaves of red and gold . . .”
Saturday, November 19, 2011
It’s been a busy week at the Frog & PenguINN. Grenville and John Deere “played” in the gardens for a couple of days.
This is how the veggie gardens looked in mid-summer when the crops were in season.
This is how part of that garden looked earlier this week.
Here’s how it looks after being cleared out and mulched yesterday.
Before it was cleared, we picked some eggplant, peppers and carrots. The carrots are not shown, but there was a small basketful, some were given away. The others are going into another batch of carrot soup and some carrot bread for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.
Also last week, before the temps dipped into the 30s, we found a few strawberries and some blossoms.
jungle meadow was cut down and mulched this week. After returning from our fall NH road trip, we had another 3 weeks of enjoyment from its blooms. But a couple of cold evenings this week killed the remaining flowers. Photos in an upcoming post.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
So how many of you really do your regular data backups?????? I always say I'm going to do it, but somehow other things get in the way. I remember back in the stone ages of xt’s and 386’s people had whole units to do backups that were as big a box as the computer was.
Well, after our returning from the New Hampshire trip and having some glitches i decided to go through all my data, get rid of what i don’t need and use that nifty 40 gig portable hard drive i bought to do backups,,,,, 3 years ago. HEY!!!! Ya don’t want to rush into some things. So now the backups are done. Even the weather data since 2005. And i was happy. In fact so happy i decided to take the rest of the evening off and have some ‘me time’, starting with a long hot shower.
The Princess had gone to the Y so i decided to be nice and fix dinner, BUT made a quick stop at the downstairs bathroom………. Now, i have never heard of plumbing systems being jealous, but apparently they can be. The downstairs toilet (last thing on the line as it goes out) was overflowing. The main septic line was now ‘Backed Up’.
Remember all the fun Plumber Jack had the other day fighting with the evil ‘roots’????? Well apparently after dislodging the root clog it did not “go quietly into the night”. No it begrudgingly headed to the main line and there decided to ‘backup’.
Plumber Jack was here again after i begged his wife to let him come ‘play’. After sending the BIG snake up the line numerous times, and not seeming to clear the latest clog i started to listen to the ground where the line is buried. What should have been a metallic clinking sound of the snake going through cast iron was a dull thumping sound (all together now say ‘Oh No!!!!’).
The decision to dig up where I heard the thudding was an easy one. What we found was the least expected. If you have never heard of “Green Field” piping it is nothing more than tarpaper rolled into a pipe. It is the cheap substitute for the old time cast iron. It also does not hold up to pressure from above, and since the main septic line runs under our parking area we had a sure fire disaster in the making. As they say on TV,,, BUT THATS NOT ALL!!!!!! Even after finding this crushed and broken pipe and clearing the dirt from it we still had little or no flow. Half an hour with a closet auger finally got to the root of all the problems and it was extracted with great effort (told you it didn’t go quietly). And with that we finally had flow, and a big open spot in the line. Since this line will be getting replaced next Monday we decided that a temporary solution to keep any more dirt or debris from falling into the open line was in order.
SOOOO if you are going to do any data backups, make sure that the bathroom door is securely shut.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Pork Loin & Sweet Potatoes in Crockpot
Dinner had to be something we could prepare before leaving and be ready by 6 p.m. We’ve having friends, Marty & Bob, join us for dinner around that time.
Solution: crock pot Sunday dinner.
Crock Pot Pork Roast with Sweet Potatoes
- 1 boneless pork loin roast, about 3 to 4 pounds
- 2 to 3 large sweet potatoes, chunked
- 2-3 carrots, chunked
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 C apple cider (not apple juice)
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- salt and pepper to taste or pork seasoning
Note: For a thicker sauce, mix some flour with a bit of the juices and make a slurry, then add back into crock pot on high for 10-15 minutes.
Dessert will be freshly baked pumpkin pie. Last night, Grenville made one with pumpkins from our veggie garden. (We discovered a couple of frozen packages in the freezer this week.)
Sorry you can’t all join us. Maybe another time.
Friday, November 11, 2011
Veterans Day Celebration
Today, November 11, is Veterans Day which is always observed on November 11 in the U.S – regardless of what day of the week on which it falls.Last Saturday, Onley, VA held its annual Veterans Day parade and celebration to honor local veterans.It started with a Coast Guard honor guard and veterans groups.There were motorcycles . . .
Fire trucks and rescue vehicles . . .
And, other types of transportation . . .
After the parade, the celebration continued at the local fire and rescue building with a free lunch and musical entertainment.